Drought-Stricken Commodities: Today’s conditions vs. 2020

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says this is still a concern, but much better conditions are being seen than in 2020.

Dry conditions are still an issue for a lot of farm counties across the United States, but the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows they might not be as bad as you think.

hay areas in drought.png

Above, is a look at the hay production areas in drought from the most recent report (June 2023). The light green area shows a minor hay area and the dark represents a major. hay area. The red crossed line shows that 20 percent of the hay acreage is currently experiencing dry conditions. The majority of that area is The Plains region.

cattle areas in drought.png

Above, is what the monitor currently shows for cattle areas in drought, as of June 2023. Approximately 36 percent of the U.S. cattle inventory is in dry conditions, with conditions concentrated in the High and Southern Plains.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says this is still a concern, but much better conditions are being seen than in 2020.

“Those numbers may sound a little high, but they’re a far cry from what we’ve been experiencing the last three years since this long-term drought settled in back in the summer of 2020,” Rippey said. “We finally clawed our way out of that and [in a] much better situation now for the Central and Western U.S. heading into 2023.”

Conditions are also looking better for the winter wheat crop, but it still is not ideal.

"[We are] still seeing 46% of the U.S. winter wheat production area and drought, although that has come down from last fall during planting, and we peaked at 75% in drought,” Rippey said. “It still represents a significant portion of the crop. That is of course reflected in the poor crop conditions

Spring wheat is doing much better with just six percent of production areas experiencing drought.

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